A Message From The Creator

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” 
― Corrie Ten Boom

In Remembrance Of The Disco Queen

RIP Ms. Donna Summer

Donna Summer rocketed to international superstardom in the mid-1970s when her groundbreaking merger of R&B, soul, pop, funk, rock, disco and avant-garde electronica catapulted underground dance music out of the clubs of Europe to the pinnacles of sales and radio charts around the world.

Maintaining an unbroken string of hits throughout the 70s and 80s, most of which she wrote, Donna holds the record for most consecutive double albums to hit #1 on the Billboard charts (3) and first female to have four #1 singles in a 12 month period; 3 as a solo artist and one as a duo with Barbra Streisand.

A five-time Grammy winner, Donna Summer was the first artist to win the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female (1979, “Hot Stuff”) as well as the first-ever recipient of the Grammy for Best Dance Recording (1997, “Carry On”). In 2004, she became one of the first inductees, as both an Artist Inductee and a Record Inductee (for 1977’s “I Feel Love”) into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York City.

Born Donna Gaines on New Year’s Eve to a large family in Boston, she developed an early interest in music. From the age of eight, Summer sang in church choirs and city-wide choruses, and by her early twenties, was performing in musical theatre in Germany, winning parts in such highly-acclaimed shows as “Hair,” “Showboat,” “Godspell,” and “Porgy and Bess” as well as performing with the Viennese Folk Opera. She released her first single, a cover of the Jaynett’s girl group classic, “Sally Go Round The Roses,” in 1971. While singing backup, she met producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte who produced her first single, “Hostage,” which became a hit in the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

In 1975, Moroder and Bellotte produced the international hit, “Love to Love You Baby,” which rose to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and triggered Summer’s triumphant return to the United States as a key figure of the then-emerging disco genre. “Love To Love You Baby” paved the way for such international hits as “MacArthur Park,” “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” “Dim All The Lights,” “On The Radio,” and “Enough Is Enough,” as well as the Grammy and Academy award winning theme song “Last Dance,” from the film “Thank God It’s Friday,” which remains a milestone in Donna’s career.

In 1980, Summer became the first artist to sign with David Geffen’s new label, Geffen Records, leaving her disco days behind and moving into the next phase of her career .” In the years that followed, Summer collaborated with writers and producers such as Quincy Jones, Michael Omartian and England’s dance-pop production compound Stock Aitken Waterman and produced a steady stream of hits from “State of Independence,” featuring Michael Jackson on backing vocals, to the abiding feminist anthem “She Works Hard For The Money,” one of the most-played songs of all-time, and the infectious “This Time I Know It’s For Real.”

In 1994, she released “Endless Summer,” a greatest hits retrospective containing a new song, “Melody of Love,” which became Billboard’s #1 Dance Record of the Year. She also released the critically acclaimed gem “Christmas Spirit,” a collection of Summer’s original songs and holiday standards recorded with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Summer spent the ’90s continuing to tour, performing to sold-out audiences worldwide.

In 1997, when the new “Best Dance Recording” Category was created at the Grammy Awards, Donna Summer was the first winner with her fifth career Grammy award for “Carry On.” In 1999, Sony/Epic Records released “VH1 Presents Donna Summer: Live & More – Encore!,” an album and DVD of Summer’s critically acclaimed VH1 broadcast taped at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. The show premiered on VH1 as one of the network’s highest rated shows to date and featured live performances of Summer’s top hits.

Donna Summer has earned five Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, three consecutive #1 platinum double albums (she’s the only artist, male or female, ever to accomplish this), 11 gold albums, four #1 singles, 2 platinum singles, and 12 gold singles. Donna is also the first female artist to have a #1 single and #1 album on the Billboard charts simultaneously (“Live & More;” “MacArthur Park” 1978) a feat she also repeated six months later (“Bad Girls” & “Hot Stuff” in 1979). She has charted 22 #1 hits on the Billboard Disco/Dance charts, over a period of 25 years a milestone solidifying her as The Queen of Dance.

In addition to her recording and performing career, Summer is an accomplished visual artist whose work has been shown at exhibitions worldwide including Steven Spielberg’s “Starbright Foundation Tour of Japan” and The Whitney Museum as well as a prestigious engagement at Sotheby’s in New York. Since 1989, she has sold over 1.2 million dollars in original art – with her highest piece going for $150,000. In 2003, Random House published her autobiography “Ordinary Girl,” co-authored with Marc Eliot. Also that year, Universal released “The Journey,” containing all of her original hits, as well as two new songs.

In 2008, celebrating four decades of milestones, Donna Summer adds another accomplishment to her list with the success of her new album “Crayons.” The album debuted at #17 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart making it Summer’s highest debuting album ever. It also debuted at #5 on the Billboard R&B chart – another personal best. “Crayons” is Donna’s first album of all new studio material in 17 years and is her highest charting album since “She Works Hard For The Money” in 1983. To date, the album has spawned three #1 Dance hits “I’m A Fire,” “Stamp Your Feet” and “Fame (The Game).”

A 2008 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame nominee, it is estimated that Donna Summer has sold more than 130 million records worldwide.

With a total of 31 #1 hits (singles and albums) on the Billboard Pop/R&B,Disco/Dance, Album charts combined, over a period of 35 years, Donna Summer is ranked at #24 on Billboard Magazines 50th Anniversary issue featuring the Hot 100 Artists of All Time.

Women In The News

Cameron

World Telecoms Day: LIME Women Making A Difference

Published: Thursday | May 17, 201

Today is World Telecoms Day and it is being celebrated under the theme ‘Women and Girls in ICT’. The Gleaner turns the spotlight on some shining lights at LIME.

Highly respected by their colleagues, LIME’s Rochelle Cameron, Maria Thompson-Walters, Lisa Hayles and Nicole Gordon are among the many female powerhouses being saluted today.

Coming from opposite poles of the telecommunication and ICT business, these four women make a tremendous impact on the everyday operations of the Caribbean’s largest telecommunications provider.

 

Cameron

For Cameron who heads LIME’s legal and regulatory team, keen attention to legal and industry matters as well as being involved in advocacy, negotiations, strategic planning and team building form a key part of her contribution to the largely evolving telecommunications landscape.

“A significant part of my role is the management of contract processes, from negotiation to the execution, of wholesale and retail telecommunications services and monitoring of legal and regulatory compliance in the provision of regulated and competitive products and services” says Cameron.

Thompson-Walters

Heading up a workforce of more than 3000 employees for such a dynamic and multifaceted business is no easy task for Thompson-Walters, LIME’s regional human resources director. Having joined the LIME team more than four years ago, she says, “maintaining the human element is key in an industry that is driven primarily by technology. My team has to help our colleagues adapt to a rapidly changing environment and so the ability to ‘predict the future” and what the human resource needs will look like is of paramount importance.”

 

Gordon and Hayles

Cementing their place in what was originally considered a male-controlled area; LIME network engineers Nicole Gordon and Lisa Hayles successfully hold their own and are considered two key assets in ensuring the LIME network remains in good working order.

As a network maintenance technician, Gordon is the only female on her immediate work team. Employed to LIME since 2005, she quickly points out that “As an engineer, in this dynamic environment, you are challenged to formulate innovative strategies for processes and products to meet the customer’s needs.”

Always equipped with her Blackberry and network testing tools, Hayles is responsible for maintaining cell sites in Western Jamaica. “I think there is space for more women in the ICT sector. This is one of the areas that is not highly competitive and I would want to see more women in this field.” she adds.

World Telecoms Day is being celebrated across all 14 LIME business units with varying activities being executed throughout the region.

LIME is the region’s first and boldest technology innovator; providing services in mobile and fixed telephony, ADSL and wireless data services along with a rapidly expanding entertainment portfolio which includes IPTV.

Local Inspiration

Arlethia Perry-Johnson

Arlethia Perry-Johnson

by The Diverse Staff , April 2, 2012

When campus crisis and opportunity find their way to Arlethia Perry-Johnson’s office at Kennesaw State University or greet her on the other end of the telephone on any given day, there is little that this veteran communicator hasn’t heard or done. That, says Perry-Johnson, vice president of external affairs, has come with amassing nearly three decades of communications and public affairs experience, with most in higher education. She joined Kennesaw State in 2006 when she was appointed special assistant to the president for external affairs. Perry-Johnson, the former chief spokesperson for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, also directs the system’s African-American Male Initiative, now operating on 23 campuses. Perry-Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications from Point Park University (formerly Point Park College).

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